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Transdermal fentanyl for pain due to chemoradiotherapy-induced oral mucositis in nasopharyngeal cancer patients: evaluating efficacy, safety, and improvement in quality of life

Authors Guo S, Wu S, Zhou J, Feng H, Li F, Wu J, Sun J, He Z

Received 7 January 2014

Accepted for publication 28 March 2014

Published 12 May 2014 Volume 2014:8 Pages 497—503

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DDDT.S60187

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5


Su-Ping Guo,1,* San-Gang Wu,2,* Juan Zhou,3,* Hui-Xia Feng,1 Feng-Yan Li,1 Ying-Jia Wu,1 Jia-Yuan Sun,1 Zhen-Yu He1

1Department of Radiation Oncology, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China; 2Department of Radiation Oncology, Xiamen Cancer Center, the First Affiliated Hospital of Xiamen University, Xiamen, People's Republic of China; 3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Xiamen Cancer Center, the First Affiliated Hospital of Xiamen University, Xiamen, People's Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: This study evaluated the efficacy, safety, and quality of life (QoL) measure of transdermal fentanyl (TDF) for moderate-to-severe pain due to oral mucositis caused by chemoradiotherapy in patients with advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Patients with NPC who experienced moderate-to-severe oral mucosal pain during chemoradiotherapy (n=78) received TDF for pain relief. Pain relief and QoL were compared before and after treatment. The mean numeric rating scale score was reduced from 7.41±0.96 before treatment to 5.54±0.86, 3.27±0.73, 2.88±0.62, and 2.82±0.68 on days 1, 4, 7, and 10, respectively, after treatment (P<0.001). Karnofsky performance status and SPAASMS (Score for pain, Physical activity levels, Additional pain medication, Additional physician/emergency room visits, Sleep, Mood, and Side effects) scores showed significant improvement after treatment, indicating an improved QoL of patients (both P<0.001). The most common adverse reactions were nausea and vomiting (10.26%). No serious life-threatening adverse events and no symptoms of drug withdrawal were observed. TDF is effective, safe, and improves QoL in treating pain due to oral mucositis caused by chemoradiotherapy in NPC patients.

Keywords: nasopharyngeal cancer, transdermal fentanyl, noncancerous pain, quality of life, mucositis


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